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Jewish World Review Jan. 12, 2006/ 12 Teves, 5766

Larry Elder

Larry Elder
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Rose Bowl: The Vince and Chuck story | "The blacker you are, the worse it is for you. If you're mixed, you've got a shot. If you cater to what white America wants you to do and how they want you to look, you can survive. But if you want to be yourself, and try to do things that fit you, and your skin, nobody cares about that. At the end of the day, white America dominates and rules. And it's racist." Thus said successful (and dark-skinned) victicrat/singer Mary J. Blige.

Guess Ms. Blige didn't catch the Rose Bowl.

The thrilling game, won by Texas, 41-38, says a lot about the greatness of America.

During the game, cameras caught beaming Texas fans, many white — cheering their squad on. Then the cameras cut away to the USC sideline, where former minority stars like Marcus Allen and Tony Munoz cheered for their team.

Vince Young, Texas' black quarterback, proved that with hard work, perseverance and loving support, one can overcome a troubled background. During the game, the camera cut away to shots of USC quarterback Matt Leinart's dad. No such shots for the Texas quarterback, who led a talented group of black and white players. Young's father abandoned the family when Vince turned 4, and his dad now serves a 16-year prison term for armed robbery. Vince's mother and grandmother and two older sisters raised him. Still, he got into trouble and ran for a time with a street gang called the Bloods.

After Vince got arrested for brawling with another gang, his mother came to pick him up. After the tongue-lashing he received about not wasting his future, Young — chastened and embarrassed — determined to turn his life around and get serious about his future. He recently announced his intention to enter the NFL draft, where he will likely receive a multi-year, multimillion-dollar contract.

Had USC won the Rose Bowl, that would have given the Southern California team 35 victories in a row. The pursuit would match the brilliant record of Chuck Ealey. Who is Chuck Ealey?

Ealey, a black man raised in the Midwest, starred as a high school quarterback for his team at Portsmouth, Ohio, Notre Dame High School. Despite winning all 18 games he started as quarterback in high school, major college teams only expressed an interest in Ealey if Ealey agreed to switch positions. Ealey refused. He made it clear that when he played in college, he intended to play quarterback.

No major football college showed an interest, so Ealey ended up playing at the University of Toledo in 1968. Not exactly center ring, but at least he played quarterback. He won every game at Toledo as starting quarterback while going 35-and-0, and graduated with a degree in economics.

Did the pros came a-knocking for the spectacularly successful Ealey? No, in those days, the NFL showed little interest in black quarterbacks, believing blacks too dimwitted to handle the heady quarterback position, or that racist white teammates would refuse to subordinate themselves to the leadership of a black quarterback, or that they might lose fan support. So Ealey played for the Canadian Football League, where he starred, was named Rookie of the Year, and received an MVP for his victory in the Grey Cup, Canada's equivalent of the Super Bowl.

Today, Ealey lives as a businessman in Canada. Is he angry? Is he bitter? No, he expresses pride that USC's pursuit of his record brings attention to the achievement of that University of Toledo team.

Today, of the six top collegiate football conferences, a little over one-third use first-string black quarterbacks. Did someone pass a law requiring colleges to recruit black quarterbacks? No, coaches want to win, and the excellent performance of black athletes left them no choice.

This story may be apocryphal. But — as Dan Rather might have put it — the tale is too good not to be true. In 1970, racially integrated USC trounced Alabama's lily-white players on the field, 42-21. Afterward, the beaten legendary Alabama coach "Bear" Bryant approached USC's coach John McKay. "Coach McKay," said Bryant, "where do you get such wonderful guards and tackles?" To which McKay responded, "We get 'em from Alabama."

Bryant — who had arranged that game with coach McKay, allegedly offering USC $250,000 to come to Alabama and play — then pushed his university for black recruitment and athletic scholarships. Bryant got what he wanted. The following season, Alabama had black starters. By 1973, one-third of Alabama starters were black.

Of that historic 1970 game, "Bear" Bryant assistant Jerry Claiborne said that Alabama native Sam Cunningham, one of USC's great black running backs (who rushed for 135 yards and scored two touchdowns that day), "did more to integrate Alabama in 60 minutes than Martin Luther King had in 20 years."

Final score: America 1, Victicrats 0.

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JWR contributor Larry Elder is the author of, most recently, "Showdown: Confronting Bias, Lies and the Special Interests That Divide America." (Proceeds from sales help fund JWR) Let him know what you think of his column by clicking here.

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